This little gem has been floating around Facebook recently. I shared it on my fan page, but I’d like to elaborate on the concept a bit…
Sometimes I’m surprised by the random people that write asking for (deep!) discounts on my creations, even though we’ve never met.
I’m tempted to reply sarcastically, and ask them to give me the equivalent of half a day’s work too – you know, just because.
Similarly, I’m puzzled when folks ask for – or even demand – patterns and detailed construction information. While I don’t mind sharing certain tips with friends or peers, I’m not in the habit of giving my business away to strangers.
Worse yet are the ones who just take without asking –
This year alone, I’ve caught three different “artists” selling direct (and bad!) knockoffs of my original designs. Not only did these people duplicate my original works, but they opted to sell in the same venues that I do and undercut me! This is a mark of the copycat – they almost always sell their reproductions for less than the original. I suspect it’s because they know what they’ve done, and feel ashamed … but that’s an entirely different rant, so I’ll save it for another post. Bottom line: when you take something off of a store shelf without paying, it’s called stealing; please don’t kid yourself – helping yourself to my hard work is no different.
My point is that many people do not seem to value creative work.
There’s an expectation that it’s easy or effortless, or that it’s some sort of cute little hobby and not a real job. If you believe that crap, please allow me to disabuse you of your misconceptions – I work my ass off! For reals. I have invested decades into learning my craft, honing my skills, and developing original products. I’ve also poured an amazing amount of money into tools and supplies. In addition, I devote countless hours to “invisible” tasks such as SEO, photography, writing copy and so forth. This is my livelihood — what I do to pay my bills.
|via the talented Valorie Wilson of http://www.valoriewilson.com/|
As this sketch illustrates, professional artists generate a host of business expenses in the course of creating and selling their work.
My pricing is structured to cover such expenses and provide a livable wage. So when you ask me for discounts, tips and freebies, you aren’t asking for an intangible bit off fluff that I dreamed up in my “spare time”; you are asking me to work for free. I might like you better if you at least offered me a trade – how about a free meal at your restaurant, a one hour massage, free teeth cleaning, or whatever it is that you do to support yourself?
I do try to be generous with my work by offering sales throughout the year. Likewise, I donate a lot of my creations to charity, trade with other artisans, give to friends and family (and even the occasional stranger); but I don’t simply give my work away to everyone off the street. Can you think of any sustainable business that does?
My apologies if this post sounds ranty or bitter – but I see so many of these rude “requests” and outright thefts that it’s hard not to get that way. I’ll back away from the soapbox and leave you with this request:
Please treat me (and my work) with the same basic courtesy that you would show any other professional.
5 thoughts on “Thank you for understanding…”
It’s like someone walking into target and expecting them to greatly reduce a price or out right give the item away. Because you make it you are expected to.
Happy holidays Drea!
Hey Pamy! Happy Holidays to you too 😀
And yes — it’s exactly like that…
Nicely explained! So many people are just clueless …
Thanks, AQ! I was trying to be nice (no really, I was!)but sometimes it’s hard to keep my frustration from leaking out 😉
Oh, I so understand this. I worry that people could copy my work … and I try to just think positive … I would hate to watermark all of my pictures … and really they couldn’t possible print off this the same way … the dpi is very low compared to what I print off. Thanks for this….I hope it gets through.
Happiness and Abundance to ALL>